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Centrozoon

Boner

Review by Gary Hill

It would be easy to just classify this disc as strange atmospheric music. Sure, it is odd and most of it is textural. Yet, there are intriguing bits of melody and the sparse arrangements often reveal more than something that’s more fully realized might. This isn’t the kind of music that will appeal to everyone, but there is plenty to enjoy here for those who are open to unusual musical adventures. It should be mentioned that Markus Reuter is involved in this project. That name is one that isn’t likely to be a household name for many, but for fans of more adventurous progressive rock, he is a legend.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Silent

Weird sound effects and atmospherics make up this cut. It’s quite short and basically just an introduction.

OK Without Reheating
This is longer and has more of a rhythmic element. It’s still very atmospheric and strange, though. There is little here that could be referred to as melody, particularly in the beginning. Later, though, there are some bits of heavy guitar based sounds, a bit like King Crimson. They are far down in the mix, though.
Cervus

There are weird electronic elements early. Then some extremely distorted and processed vocals are heard amidst a very stark and industrial backdrop. The arrangement never really becomes fully developed, but rather bits of noisy sound effects, atmospheric and electronic music and processed vocals create a weird, but somehow satisfying, alien-like soundscape.

Mauls of Reclining

Sounds like a chiming bell open this and then other bits of atmospheric weirdness are added to the arrangement. While this is still very strange, and quite textural rather than melodic, there seems to be more to this one than there was with the preceding cut. As it continues, sounds that feel a bit like a phone modem connecting and handshaking are heard. There are also little bursts of what sounds like “ssst” being whispered. There are some world music-like percussion sounds here, too. Either by this time the listener is getting immersed in the strangeness, or the cut is more accessible than anything we’ve heard thus far.

Smoked Info Monster

Although this is certainly not a complete arrangement by any means, it is more melodic and feels a bit more “song-like” than anything to this point. There are distorted, distant, spoken vocals that make this feel a bit like something from Hawkwind. Just like the previous number, this is somehow more accessible than the first few pieces. It’s still very stark and strange, but it is also quite effective in a strange, almost foreboding way. All the music here feels very alien, and this is no exception. It’s just that there are definitely hints of something recognizable here. There are some more bits of Crimson-like guitar later in the composition. At over eight and a half minutes in length, this is the longest piece on show here.

By Us

This is a short piece, but it’s got a killer bass line. It’s still sparse, but that bass line brings a King Crimson-like sense of menace. There are distorted spoken vocals and more electronic weirdness in the mix, too.

Knock Outs

Coming in more percussive, this still carries on the “atmospheric weirdness” concept. There are definitely more bits of rhythmic driving sound here than a lot of other places on the set, though. Later in the cut there is an extremely percussive bit with various drum-like sounds and tuned percussion elements dancing around one another.

Weak Spelling

Another short piece, this one feels very much like computer music. That doesn’t mean like music created by a computer synthesizer, but rather like music a computer might listen to. It has bits of sound that resemble various pings and handshaking a computer might do, as well. This is noisy, weird and one of the oddest cuts here. Considering the competition, that says a lot.

La Waltz Of Kirk

While the differences throughout the disc are fairly minor, this one seems a bit more melodic. There are sections that feel space-like and others that bring back that computerized reference. The arrangement gets more sparse and atmospheric later, but then shifts to a dramatic, percussively pounding section beyond that.

The Yeah Winces

Seeming more random, this definitely feels more like some kind of alien soundscape. There are bits of percussion rising up in bursts here and there, but overall this is very atmospheric and spacey. It gets more electronically rhythmic later and then noisier layers emerge over the top near the end.

Bright Meowing

This one is more industrial and computerized. It’s one of the strangest on the set, and that says a lot.

Radio Sun

With bits of twisted melody and a slowly moving bass-like pattern, this is more musical than a lot of the stuff here. There’s a heavy melody line later that is almost like some of the dirge slow, doom metal that’s out there. That makes this one a pretty major change. It also makes it cool. It turns weirder again after that with more of a noise-like rather than melodic musical concept.

Bell Hill Minutemen

Textural and somewhat noisy, this has some definite melody among the sparse atmosphere. It becomes even more open and empty for a while later, and then an almost symphonic element emerges. More of the atmospheric sounds are heard from there to eventually take it out.

 
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